Angelina Jolie’s Movies Ranked
Angelina Jolie is back again this week with blood in her eye, evil in her heart and horns on her head to reprise her aggressively colorful portrayal of the title character in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” So we thought it might be a good time to look back at some highlights — and lowlights — of her movie career — as a performer, that is.
Coming up next, the Oscar winner has Peter Pan prequel “Come Away,” the Taylor Sheridan-directed drama “Those Who Wish Me Dead” and Marvel’s “Eternals,” in which she plays Thena.
Jolie has also delved into directing in the last decade, helming “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in 2011, “Unbroken” in 2014, “By the Sea” in 2015 and “First They Killed My Father” in 2017.
Jolie has also focused much of her time on humanitarian causes, completing dozens of field missions and traveling to war zones to meet with U.S. troops and refugees. She credits her experiences filming “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” with opening her eyes to the situation in Cambodia, the setting of “First They Killed My Father.”
The daughter of actor Jon Voight, she made her acting debut as a child in Hal Ashby’s “Lookin’ to Get Out,” which starred her father.
Photo : MGM
16. “Original Sin” (2001)
Roger Ebert, one of the few critics who had anything nice to say about this steamy but silly remake of Francois Truffaut’s “Mississippi Mermaid,” noted that, as the duplicitous mail-order bride of a 19th-century coffee plantation owner (Antonio Banderas), Jolie was perfectly cast as a seductive schemer: “Her presence is like a dare-ya for a man.” True enough. But, unfortunately, not enough.
Photo : Warner Bros.
15. “Alexander” (2004)
For her less-than-stellar performance as Queen Olympias in Oliver Stone’s ill-starred historical epic, Jolie was “honored” with a Golden Raspberry nomination as Worst Actress of 2004. Actually, she was co-nominated for her equally forgettable work in “Taking Lives” — but lost anyway to Halle Berry of “Catwoman.” Maybe she should have demanded a recount.
Photo : Universal Pictures
14. “By the Sea” (2015)
Jolie and Brad Pitt no doubt had a great deal more fun making “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (2005), the slam-bang action comedy that was their only other co-starring vehicle, but there can be no denying the voyeuristic appeal of their performances here as a celebrity couple luxuriously muddling through a rough patch in their marriage. (For a point of comparison, think of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in 1992’s “Husbands and Wives.”) In real life, they separated not long after this wildly uneven but fitfully fascinating movie — directed by Jolie herself — opened to mostly negative reviews.
Photo : Hallmark Entertainment
13. “True Women” (1997)
Dana Delaney is unquestionably the star of this sprawling miniseries based on Janice Woods Windle’s historical novel about five decades in the lives of hearty Texas women, but Jolie holds her own as the best friend of Delaney’s indomitable pioneer, a woman who fears being ostracized because of her mixed-race ancestry.
Photo : MGM
12. “Hackers” (1995)
Jolie is first and feistiest among equals in a group of hearty young hackers who take on a high-tech embezzler known as The Plague. That alias may sound intimidating, but Jolie’s hacker handle is way cooler: Acid Burn.
Photo : Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista Pictures
11. “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000)
As the sensual Sara “Sway” Wayland, occasional accomplice and sometime lover of master car thief Randall “Memphis” Raines (Nicolas Cage), Jolie gets to pose a provocative question: What’s more of a turn-on, boosting cars or making love? Amazingly enough, Memphis is so dedicated to his craft that he must seriously ponder the alternatives before responding.
Photo : 20th Century Fox
10. “Pushing Tin” (2000)
In Mike Newell’s workplace comedy-drama, Jolie makes the most of a small but key role as the discontented and hard-drinking wife of an eccentric air-traffic controller (Billy Bob Thornton, whom she married in 2000) who briefly dallies with his rival co-worker (John Cusack), thereby ratcheting up tensions between the two men.
Photo : Universal Pictures
9. “The Bone Collector” (1999)
Playing a resourceful beat cop turned special investigator for a brilliant quadriplegic detective (Denzel Washington), Jolie makes her bones as a credible mystery-thriller lead.
Photo : Columbia Pictures
8. “Salt” (2010)
In her second collaboration (after “The Bone Collector”) with director Phillip Noyce, Jolie defies laws of physics and ignores gaping plot holes while relentlessly kicking ass as a CIA operative who goes on the run, and then on a rampage, after she’s accused of being a Russian sleeper agent.
Photo : Miramax Films
7. “Playing By Heart” (1998)
At one point in Willard Carroll’s underappreciated comedy-drama about the close encounters and unexpected connections of seemingly unrelated characters, Jolie’s hearty-party gal signals her impulsive embrace of sobriety by spitting out her drink, then dropping the rest of her vodka martini onto the floor — and damned if she doesn’t make that instant rehab seem sexy as hell.
Photo : Universal Studios
6. “Changeling” (2008)
Jolie received a richly deserved Academy Award nomination for her performance in Clint Eastwood’s fact-based period drama as a mother branded as unbalanced (or worse) after she claims the boy returned to her in the wake of a kidnapping isn’t really her missing son.
Photo : Moviestore/Shutterstock
5. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (2005)
Think of it as a real-life version of that reliable rom-com convention: Meeting cute while on assignment. In this case, Jolie and Brad Pitt started an off-screen romance — and, not incidentally, became tabloid fodder — while co-starring as seemingly ordinary suburban spouses who discover each is a government assassin who’s been assigned to kill the other. Their industrial-strength on-screen chemistry fuels an uneven but enjoyable comedy-thriller that often plays like a hybrid of “The Thin Man” and “Prizzi’s Honor.”
Photo : Paramount Pictures
4. “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001)
With her skin-tight attire, her saucy smirk and her formidable pair of offensive weapons – not to mention her automatic pistols – Jolie redefines the term “action figure” as the title character in Simon West’s videogame-inspired action-adventure.
Photo : HBO
3. “Gia” (1998)
Jolie earned — really earned — a Golden Globe for her utterly fearless performance as self-destructive supermodel Gia Marie Carangi in Michael Cristofer’s powerful HBO biopic, one of her first major roles.
Photo : Walt Disney Studios
2. “Maleficent” (2014)
There probably are laws in several states that prohibit actors from enjoying their own over-the-top excess as much as Jolie clearly does as the eponymous villainess in this lavish Disney-produced reconstitution of the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale (and, of course, Disney’s own 1959 animated feature).
Photo : Columbia Pictures
1. “Girl, Interrupted” (1999)
Call it her personal best, and you’ll get few arguments. Jolie grabbed Oscar gold for her electrifyingly vivid and ultimately heartbreaking portrayal of a charismatic sociopath who is a dangerous influence on a fellow patient (Winona Ryder, never better) at a psychiatric hospital in James Mangold’s potent adaptation of Susanna Kaysen’s 1993 memoir.